EUGENE, Ore. - The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County launched a fundraising campaign this week to develop a new McDonald Community Vision Fund to coincide with executive director Terry McDonald’s 50th year of service in 2021.
"Donors can help SVdP sustain the commitment to community service long held by Terry and his father, the late H.C. 'Mac' McDonald, who served as the nonprofit’s first executive director," the organization said.
In his 37 years as director, Terry McDonald can be credited with transforming a once-diminutive organization into Lane County’s largest nonprofit human-services provider — and a renowned innovator of sustainable social enterprises that reduce waste and create jobs while supporting a core humanitarian mission.
SVdP now employs more than 600 people, provides emergency services to some 84,000 low-income individuals every year, and has developed more than 1,500 units of affordable housing, as just several examples of its local impact.
"SVdP has always pivoted quickly to address changing community needs under McDonald’s leadership. And as he nears retirement, the MCV Fund will help ensure that remains true as SVdP heads into the next 50 years on a firm, yet flexible, financial footing," according to the organizaiton.
According to St. Vincent de Paul:
The MCV Fund is not a traditional endowment, which is a financial instrument devised to generate ongoing interest income for a specific purpose, nor a reserve fund for planned expenditures. Rather, this “opportunity fund” will enable SVdP’s current and future leaders to quickly allocate funding in support of new ways to serve emerging community needs.
SVdP addressed the growing homelessness crisis, for example, with many new programs in recent years — including the Dawn to Dawn congregate tent shelter, the Safe Parking Program, and The Youth House, a transitional residential program for unhoused teens.
Often, SVdP has relied on a fortuitous alignment of circumstances, including offers extended by donors at just the right time, to realize a new community benefit.
In 2020, for example, a local couple’s monetary donation allowed SVdP to transport two surplus modular classroom units donated by Lane Community College, then refurbish and install them at SVdP’s 717 Hwy. 99N property.
With the repurposed buildings in place adjacent to the Dawn to Dawn shelter, SVdP partnered with Willamette Family Inc. to open a new clinic called The Hub providing much-needed medical and behavioral support services to the unhoused.
With a healthy MCV Fund, SVdP will have a versatile funding source available to capitalize on future opportunities like this — even in the absence of specific donors with targeted gifts.
To learn more, visit www.svdp.us/mcv or call 541-600-8454